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Can Whisky Help With An Upset Sick Stomach?

Updated on September 20, 2012

In this article we are going to try to answer the question, does whisky settle your stomach? We will take a look and see what evidence there is to suggest that whisky or other forms of alcohol do indeed help with un upset or sick stomach and we will try and give you some reasons why drinking whisky in moderation may well help if you have an upset stomach.

We have all heard the adage that a little wine is good for the stomach. This is something that has been believed for many years and there is even mention of it in the bible. Doctors tend to agree that a little wine can help aid minor stomach problems. But what about whisky and other strong spirits. Do these help calm a sick stomach or do they make the problem worse? Well this is something that many people will debate, so we are going to take a look at the issue and see if we can come up with a definitive answer.

Does Whisky Help?

Does Whisky Calm Your Stomach?

So first of all we should mention that drinking large quantities of whisky will certainly not calm your stomach. This will in fact enhance the problem and drinking large amounts of any spirit is certainly not good for you. We are talking about just a good single measure for medicinal purposes.

From personal experience I would say that whisky does calm my stomach. I often find that when I have a little stomach ache or I’m feeling a little sick, a small glass of whisky makes me feel a lot better and it does indeed calm my insides. I have been doing this for many years, I have enjoyed whisky for around ten years and so often find a nice single malt can have a nice calming effect. Some people though would argue that this is all in my head and it has no effect.

So how can we make sense of this? Well it’s a fact that alcohol kills bugs. Many people will drink whisky or brandy when they have a cold. So the same principle could be true. It could also be that the strong alcohol content has a numbing effect when you drink it, this could lead to you feeling better. A small amount of whisky will often have a relaxing effect on the drinker, another reason why it may settle the stomach. Does this mean though that every time you feel ill you should reach for the bottle.

What Do You Think?

Can Whisky Help Calm Your Stomach Upset?

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When Not To Drink

Personally I only have whisky for my stomach when it has a minor upset. If you have a serious sickness bug and are vomiting then it’s unlikely any spirit will help the situation. Another bad idea is drinking on an empty stomach, if you have nothing inside you then the strong alcohol could actually damage the lining of your stomach and do you more harm than good.

Another issue to think about is that whisky contains gluten and some people may be intolerant to this. When you are feeling sick your tolerance levels are likely to be even lower so taking in gluten could be a bad idea. Other people simply have a bad reaction to all forms of alcohol so again if this is the case this is something that should be avoided.

Just A Small Measure

What Kind Of Whisky Or Other Alcohol?

Does it matter what kind of whisky you drink if you do have an upset stomach. Well this is really open to debate. I tend to enjoy single malt whisky, usually an Islay version that is flavoured with peat and is quite smokey. I imagine that buying a cheap bottle of blended whisky may not be quite as effective. The alcohol content of some of the whiskies I enjoy is often quite high as well, some are as high as 57% so again this may play a part.

There are other spirits that people claim aid a sick upset stomach. One well known one that is quite similar to whisky is of course brandy. Again the same principles apply, only have a small amount. Occasionally you hear stories of parents giving their children a spoonful of rum when they are young to help settle their stomachs. Again some people are convinced this does indeed work.

It would make sense that most forms of alcohol may well have an effect on ones stomach, whether this is for better or worse may well depend upon the individual. Some people may simply hate the taste of spirits so drinking them may not be at all pleasant and may actually make them feel sick. So really this is something that could well be down to personal preference. If you do have an upset stomach though and there is some whisky lying around then why not sip a small measure and see if it does indeed settle your stomach.


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    • dommcg profile image

      dommcg 4 years ago

      When i have an upset stomach i'll often have a hot toddy, i find it helps. Ginger wine also helps with me. Thanks for the hub.

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      Patrik 3 years ago

      I think the gluten in whiskey goes away with the distillation.

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      Justin 4 months ago

      Vodka seems to help me more with stomach problems or the runs

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